David, at EMU theater, mentioned to me that he was pretty behind on getting the lights done for an upcoming production of Macbeth. So I offered to come lend a hand…but of course, I’d have my tiny assistants with me. He said that was okay–maybe they could drop color for him–and so we went over there this afternoon. They were pretty into it for about the first half hour, examining the light plot, asking David about selecting colors, helping replace a few lamps and find lighting instruments that matched the plot. When they lost interest, they still managed to not be unhelpful, so I consider that a win.

Silas’ favorite part was pushing the buttons to test the fixtures and operating the electric winch to bring the lines in. He loved that he got to yell, “First electric coming in!” and hear everyone respond, “Thank you first electric!”

They said it was interesting, but there was a lot of stuff they couldn’t do, so that was boring. We were also there in the afternoon, which is not the best time for them. They were good at prepping the lights for hanging–opening the shutters, unwrapping the safety cable and the power. Silas liked plugging in the ones he could reach and gophering when I needed another tool or cable. Silas also started to learn a shoelace knot because that’s how we do the tie line for the lighting cables. He needs more practice at it (his shoes are still velcro), but it’s the kind of thing a kid his age should learn. I think when they’re bigger and more physically capable of actually doing things, they will be actually helpful. Silas was able to read the light plot once David showed him how it corresponded to the room we were in, and Petra liked counting the dimmers to figure out which light went with which number.

And I got two lines of instruments rough hung before I decided that we needed to bail, so I think David came out ahead, chaos muppets aside.

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